A Gift to the World

Jean-Baptiste Sabatier-Blot, Portrait of Louis Daguerre, 1844
Jean-Baptiste Sabatier-Blot
Daguerreotype portrait of Louis Daguerre, 1844


On this day in 1839 the government of France, having acquired the rights to Louis Daguerre‘s pioneering photographic technique in exchange for a life pension, published and proclaimed the daguerreotype process as “a gift to the world”. Within two decades Daguerre’s brilliant invention was superseded by the more versatile wet collodion process but as the first practical photographic technique capable of capturing fine detail daguerreotypy was an era-defining breakthrough in technology, changing forever the way we see the world. Many millions of daguerreotypes were taken during the brief period of the process’s supremacy while sadly, most of Daguerre’s own work was lost in a studio fire and only a handful of his epoch-making photographs survive.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: